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Last Updated: Saturday September 27 2008 13:46 GMT

Chinese astronaut's spacewalk

Astronaut

A Chinese astronaut has become the first person from his country to take a walk in space.

Mission commander Zhai Zhigang was one of three astronauts on board a rocket which blasted into space two days ago from a base in north-west China.

Mr Zhai was shown live on Chinese TV, leaving the spacecraft at about 8.30 am on Saturday.

Wearing a space suit costing over £5m pounds, he stayed outside for about 15 minutes, waving a Chinese flag.

As he left the spacecraft, Mr Zhai, 42, said: "I'm feeling quite well. I greet the Chinese people and the people of the world."

Spacewalk

Britain has sent astronauts into space in the past, but until now only people from America, Canada and Russia have actually walked in space.

Chinese scientists are hoping the photos and videos beamed back from the mission will give them vital information to help them learn how to keep people in space for longer, and build a space station.